1. An Egyptian scarab beetle
Mounted in a modern winged gold brooch, this ancient Egyptian scarab beetle has been dated to the Middle Kingdom and late Second Intermediate Period (c.1950-1600BC). The property of an English collector acquired prior to 1968, it is estimated at £250-450 in a sale of antiquities and tribal art at Chiswick Auctions on April 9. View the lot on thesaleroom.com.
2. Concorde documents
Also tomorrow is Special Auction Services’ sale of documentation relating to the supersonic airliner Concorde. The seven lots – discovered in a box of paperwork – include flight manuals, crew manuals, pilots’ handbooks and checklists for the British Concorde 01 and a flight manual for French Concorde 02.
This meticulous set of notes, containing 92 printed schematic and diagramatic pages with detailed hand-written training annotations, were made by Assistant Chief Test Pilot Peter P Baker and are estimated at £1000-1500.
Captain Baker was part of Concorde’s crew on her momentous first flight from Filton to Fairford and he was instrumental in the flight testing and crew training before the aircraft entered service in 1976. View the April 9 auction in Newbury via thesaleroom.com.
3. An Isherwood picture
A private collection of 17 pictures by James Lawrence Isherwood (1917-89) – the prolific Wigan-born painter who produced thousands of Impressionist-style pictures – has emerged from a deceased estate and will be offered at Lancashire saleroom Silverwoods on April 10.
Assembled during the 1960s-70s, the group contains mainly unframed oil on boards depicting both rural landscapes and city scenes from across England and Wales.
St Ives Harbour, dated c.1964 and measuring 3ft x 2ft 7in (91 x 80cm), is estimated at £500-700. The lot can be viewed on thesaleroom.com.
4. A singing bird box
This singing bird box is estimated at £3000-5000 in the sale of jewellery, silver and watches at Cheffins of Cambridge on April 11.
The French firm Maison Bontems – regarded as ‘the father of the modern singing bird boxes’ – is the likely maker of this late 19th century automaton.
Presented in the original velvet and silk lined fitted case complete with winding key, the c.1890 box is believed to be model number 11: the most popular of Bontems’ range of singing boxes.
Bontems revolutionised the singing bird box, simplifying the movement and making improvements to the quality and realism of the bird song. The company exhibited in several worldwide universal expositions and fairs where it was awarded a total of 43 medals and supplied a number of royal households throughout the world.
The lot can be viewed on thesaleroom.com.
5. A Sicilian landscape
Among the highlights of Lawrences’ forthcoming Spring Fine Art auction is this 19th century view of the Bay of Palermo by the Sicilian landscapist Francesco Lojacono (1838-1915).
The signed 19in x 2ft 6in (48.5 x 75.5cm) oil on canvas has passed by descent from Hugo Schwab, an Austrian art collector who established himself in Britain after the Second World War as a businessman involved in the development of metal coat hangers. It is estimated at £20,000-30,000 at the April 12 sale in Crewkerne. The lot can be viewed on thesaleroom.com.